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Letter: Wyandanch school editorial overlooked progress

Wyandanch community joined by union leaders protest outside

Wyandanch community joined by union leaders protest outside before start of Board of Education meeting to make adjustments to budget. Credit: Howard Simmons

Newsday’s April 14 editorial, “A district failing its mission,” lambasted the Wyandanch Board of Education and strongly suggested that the budget should be rejected. And it was on May 20.

Our district found your editorial insulting in tone and lacking in facts.

You did not mention the June 2018 internal audit by our business manager pronouncing good financial health, including a $3 million surplus. (In September, an R.S. Abrams audit found us in deficit and identified the cause as transportation, benefits and special education.) You also omitted the leasing of a space to house an overflowing student population this past school year, the purchase of portable classrooms in 2017, “good-standing” status from the state for elementary schools for the 2018-19 school year, the middle school’s removal from receivership in the 2018-19 school year, a variety of creative approaches to improve academic performances, the hiring of a skilled business manager in July to alert the district of shortfalls, and programs designed to enhance student pride and participation.

It also should be noted that the board of education is not torn by factions, nor is there nepotism. Please explain how a district that is so small and close-knit can avoid hiring qualified people with ties to the board or administration. All staff are more than qualified for their jobs.

The Wyandanch Union Free School District continues to rise in spirit regardless of fiscal stress, a dearth of resources and false claims in the news media.

Nathan Jackson,


Editor’s note: The writer is a spokesman for the school district.